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15 Most Beautiful Lakes in Kenya to Add To Your Bucket List

Kenya is home to wonders, ranging from wildlife to natural beauty, creating an endless list of sights to see.

Kenyan lakes and their incredible beauty, each with its own unique features, are among the best sceneries to visit.

If you think you are outgoing and have seen it all, prepare to be amazed.

Today, I’ll discuss 15 of the best, most beautiful lakes to visit in Kenya.

Let’s dive in.

1. Lake Naivasha: The Birder’s Paradise

Found in North West of Nairobi, outside Naivasha in Nakuru County, is this 139km² fresh water lake.

Its size has increased tremendously in recent years, going up to over 190km² during rainy seasons.

The lake holds its share of wildlife, such as flamingos, hippos, tilapia, carp and cart fish. There’s no shortage of water bird species in this lake.

As you pass by the lake you will spot giraffes, warthogs, gazelles, monkeys and zebras at a distance.

Things To Do: Bird watching, fishing, boat riding, camping.

Nearby Town: Naivasha.

2. Lake Nakuru: Kenya’s Endangered Rhinos Habitat

Lake Nakuru is protected by the Lake Nakuru National Park.

You may have known it for attracting visitors to come to see the tens of thousands of flamingos that lined up on the lake’s shores.

That’s not the case today, since the water levels have risen and changed the alkaline levels, and consequently reduced the population of algae found on the shores.

While the flamingo flock varies depending on water levels, there are other reasons to visit Lake Nakuru.

It is home to hundreds of endangered rhinos ranging from black to white rhinos. You also enjoy the stunning scenery of the Rift Valley.

The park is also a habitat to a wide range of wildlife, including the big cats and pythons.

Things To Do: Game viewing, birding, camping, photography, safaris, visit Makalia falls.

Nearby Town: Nakuru.

3. Lake Baringo: Nature Lovers and Geologists’ Ideal Destination

Lake Baringo is a fresh water lake known for paying homage to birds, crocodiles and fish.

It is located on the Great Rift Valley, east of Kamasia Hills in west-central Kenya.

The view of the Rift Valley from Baringo is mind-blowing. Here you enjoy viewing the rocky mountains and escarpments.

Things To Do: Boat riding, fishing, enjoy the view of the Great Rift Valley its features such as Laikipia escarpment, ridges and cliffs formed by lava flow from volcanos, Tugen Hills, bird watching, visit Ol Kokwe Island.

Nearby Town: Marigat.

4. Lake Bogoria Hot Springs

It is located south of Baringo, about an hour’s drive from Lake Baringo.

The lake is dark green in color, due to the spirulina algae found in the water, which attracts flamingos.

It is famously known for geysers and hot water springs.

I remember carrying raw eggs, boiling them in the springs present along the shores, and eating them. The water temperature goes up to 94 degrees.

At times, bacteria blooming in the lake results in foul smell, especially in drought seasons.

Things to Do: Watch hot springs and geysers, bird watching.

Nearby Town: Kabarnet.

5. Lake Elementaita: A Wildlife Sanctuary

Lake Elementaita is located along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway, protected by the Soysambu Conservancy.

It is a shallow soda lake. In the recent past, the Tilipia fish species were introduced. The lake is a bird area and a wildlife sanctuary.

The most exciting activity you can enjoy is swimming in the Kikopey springs.

Things To Do: Swimming, camping, bird watching, biking, game drives and nature walks.

Nearby Town: Gilgil.

6. Lake Turkana: World’s Largest Permanent Desert Lake

Formerly known as Lake Rudolf, Lake Turkana is located in the Eastern Rift Valley.

It stretches all the way to Ethiopia, feeding from the Kerio, Turkwel and Omo rivers.

It is both the largest desert and alkaline lake in the world.

It comprises of three islands, which make up breeding grounds for crocodiles and hippos. Migrating birds also make stops at Lake Turkana.

You can enjoy the amazing scenery while making cultural visits around the lake. Thousands of Nile crocodiles can be seen on the islands via boat trips.

The lake is protected by Sibiloi National Park, which also protects the wildlife habitats of zebras, giraffes, Beisa oryx, lions, leopards and cheetahs.

Things To Do: Bird watching, fishing, crocodile and hippo watching, boat riding.

Nearby Town: Lodwar.

7. Lake Magadi: Kenya’s Trona Lake

Lake Magadi lies in the southern part of the Great Rift Valley in Kajiado County.

The Lake Magadi Conservancy is a three-hour drive from Nairobi. The breathtaking scenery provides a bunch of things you can enjoy in your visit.

Things to Do: Swimming in the hot springs, camping at the lake shores, bird and wildlife watching, and visiting the Olorgesailie prehistoric site.

Nearby Town: Magadi.

8. Lake Victoria: Kenya’s Largest Fresh Water Lake

This is a shared lake between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Kenya occupies only 6 percent of this world’s largest tropical lake.

It is located in western part of Kenya, covering bits of Busia, Siaya and Homa Bay counties.

Its tropical islands, beachside resorts and hotels give you an experience hard to forget.

Things To Do: Hiking, fishing, boat riding, and bird watching. Also enjoy some of the local western cuisines.

Nearby Town: Kisumu, Kisii, Homa Bay.

9. Lake Chala: Kilimanjaro’s Volcanic Pool

This is a Crater Lake lying on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. It is approximately 98 meters deep. Its source is underground waters.

The lake is a habitat to tilapia fish and crocodiles. To protect the fish species, fishing has been banned at the lake.

A visit to Lake Chala is a combination of adventure and thrill.

Things To Do: Hiking, bird watching, and a swim in the cool lake.

Nearby Town: Taveta.

10. Lake Solai: The Growing Tourism Destination

Lake Solai is a salt water lake in Nakuru, Rift Valley Province. This has become a new home to flamingos.

It is a center for cultural diversity, with the county government investing in making this a potential tourism lake.

Things To Do: Bird watching, sport fishing, boat riding, and hiking.

 Nearby Town: Solai.

11. Lake Logipi: A Precious Gem Hidden Deep In The North

Lake Logipi is located at the Suguta Valley, north of the Kenya Rift.

Between the lake and Lake Turkana is a group of volcanoes referred to as Barrier volcanic complex.

It is a saline alkaline lake approximately six kilometers wide and three kilometers long, with a maximum depth reaching up to 5 meters.

The lake is surrounded by mountains. The saline hot springs, colorful flamingos, and stunning landscapes are the main attractions here.

Also you can learn the cultural activities of pastoralists that live around the lake.

Unique species of alkaline tilapia, vegetation that has adapted to the lake’s pH make this a fascinating tourist destination.

Wildlife found here include flamingos, zebras, gazelles and antelopes.

Things To Do: Hiking, bird watching, game watching, sunset viewing.

Nearby Town: Turkana.

12. Crater Lake: Kenya’s Own Crater Lake

The Crater Lake sanctuary is located 10km from Naivasha town. It is a volcanic lake filled with green water, which attracts a bunch of flamingos all year round.

The sanctuary hosts over 170 bird species such as little grebes, great white pelicans, grey and black headed herons, Egyptian geese and whiskered terns that bird lovers can enjoy watching.

Giraffes, warthogs, monkeys and zebras are some of the wildlife you will spot in the woods as you make a trek to the crater.

Enjoy an unmatched camping experience at the Crater Lake sanctuary as a group or solo.

Things To Do: Camping, wildlife viewing, hiking, bird watching.

Nearby Town: Naivasha

13. Lake Jipe: The Backwater Lake

Lake Jipe is a shared lake, between Tanzania and Kenya.

The Kenyan part lies in Mwanga district, Kilimanjaro region, and on the Kenyan side in the village of Nghonji.

It is a small and shallow lake, covering an average area of 28km², and a depth of no more than 3 meters.

Enjoy a rich history and landscapes in this Rift Valley Lake while hiking and camping at the shores of Lake Jipe.

Some of the wildlife found here are hippos, crocodiles and zebras.

Things To Do: Hiking, camping, game viewing.

Nearby Town: Taita Taveta.

14. Lake Oloidien: Lake Naivasha’s Little Twin

Lake Oloidien lies in Kongoni, Naivasha.

Often times, you will spot flamingos, hippos, monkeys, giraffes and zebras while making a drive to this tree filled lake.

It is slightly attached to Lake Naivasha.

Things To Do: Camping, bird watching, and boat riding.

Nearby Town: Naivasha.

15. Lake Amboseli: Home Of African Elephant

This is a seasonal lake, running dry during the months of June, July, August and September, and experiencing wet periods during the rainy season from October, November, December, March, April and May.

The Amboselli National Park is located in Kajiado County.

You can visit the Maasai community within the park.

The park is known for large herds of elephants, wet springs, savannah and woodlands.

Things To Do: Camping, nature photography, game drive, tour Maasai village.

Nearby Town: Nairobi

Closing Thoughts

Climate change has affected many of the Kenyan lake.

Fortunately, nature has a lot to give, and we are glad to still have the above beautiful lakes with wonderful sceneries we can enjoy.

Majority of these lakes have been overlooked, even though their significance closely matches that of the commonly known lakes.

These lakes are protected by game reserves and parks, keeping wildlife safe from poachers and the water bodies clean for the marine life.

Therefore, entry fees may be required, varying from local to foreign tourists.

You may also be required to pay a fee for each of the activities you choose to engage in, especially those that require an escort by rangers and tour guides.

The next time you want to make a trip to the lakeside, consider making your pick from the list above.

Also check: 15 Hills in Kenya You Should Explore For an Enchanting Trip

Kenyalogue Writer

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